Most companies, however, have failed to adapt to the new 'social era' of internal marketing, which is resulting in wasted resources and unresponsive employees. To help companies avoid this unhappy scenario, we have identified eight common mistakes that cause internal marketing campaigns to fail.
Lesson One: Your internal marketing campaign will fail if ... it does not appeal to the 'heart' and have a 'clear call to action'.
Often, we don't apply the creativity required to engage employees that we do to engaging clients. The fact is there is a difference between an employee that does something because they are 'told' to do it and one who does it because they are engaged and motivated to do it.
For a campaign to be effective, it needs to answer three questions: A) What do I want people to think? B) What do I want people to feel? C) What do I want people to do? An effective campaign must convince the head, appeal to the heart and have a clear call to action.
Lesson Two: Your internal marketing campaign will fail if ... it doesn't answer: 'Why.'
When you're constructing your message, frame it with two important bits of information. What's in it for your employee – how will it make their job simpler, easier, more profitable or more enjoyable? This is the biggest motivator of human behaviour. Then focus on how it will contribute to the success of the business. When people understand the bigger picture and how it will benefit them personally, they'll be far more likely to change their behaviours, beliefs or opinions.
Lesson Three: Your internal marketing campaign will fail if ... you say too much.
Old advice? Yet companies fail to follow this simple rule. People have a limited capacity for understanding, integrating and remembering information – especially when that information requires them to make a behavioural change.
Be aware of the competition for share of mind and the vast array of messages employees receive every day (both as employees and as consumers) and choose only what is most important.
Lesson Four: Your internal marketing campaign will fail if ... you don't provide five critical pillars of support.
Driving change requires people to overcome their fear of change, to shift their mindset and to respond with a new set of behaviours. There are a few steps that are critical to any change communications activity:
1. The creation of a compelling and clearly articulated vision of the end game
2. Providing Information
3. Equipping them with skills
4. Providing the tools
5. Reward and recognition (either formal or informal)
Lesson Five: Your internal marketing campaign will fail if ... you say it once and expect people to change their habits.
Reinforce your message. People forget. And we forget that we need to keep reminding them. The Coca-Cola brand is a perfect example of a company that follows this rule consistently. We all know about the product. In fact, it is the most recognised brand in the world. We also know where to buy it and we know that we enjoy it.
An intelligent internal marketing campaign should be layered – communicating the message through different mediums over periods of time to create 'stickiness' with the audience.
Lesson Six: Your internal marketing campaign will fail if ... you send an email to communicate important information (or, likewise, stick a few posters on the wall).
Resist the urge (at all costs) to fire off a quick email communicating important information. We know it's easy. But it may be the least persuasive form of communication in the known universe. The easier and more convenient the medium, the less effective it will be in eliciting any kind of result. The bigger the 'ask' in terms of behavioural shifts or the more complicated the issue, the more face time people will need to be convinced.
Lesson Seven: Your internal marketing campaign will fail if ... you think strategic activation is just another buzzword.
Don't start developing a campaign by asking 'do we need posters, an AV or a desk drop? Instead start by looking at the campaign objectives. What behaviour or result is it that we're trying to achieve? In short, find out 'what' before you decide on 'how'? Let that inform the mix of activities on which you decide.
Lesson Eight: Your internal marketing campaign will fail if ... you think all employees are exactly the same, i.e. that the one thing that defines them is being an employee.
The internal target market doesn't consist of a single homogenous grouping. Each employee thinks, feels and communicates differently. Likewise, they consume different mediums, speak different languages and respond to information in different ways. So, you'll need to find a way that reaches them en masse but appeals to them as individuals. By segmenting your target market you can reduce clutter, increase.
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